Candidates' comments

February 26, 2001

Candidates' comments

Republican council candidates

Victoria K. Bodnar: Would not support city funding for a new stadium because she believes the city has higher priorities.

"I'd love to see it stay. But I don't see how I could justify funding it with all the other things I'd like to get done. I don't think we have the money," Bodnar said, adding that increased police protection and programs to increase homeownership are more important to her.

"In order to increase the property values and get a better tax base we have to get the downtown looking better, and therefore get more police presence and get more homeownership and more businesses to invest in downtown," she said.

Alfred W. Boyer: Would support city funding for a new stadium, as he has in the past.

Boyer is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce stadium task force, and has been the most vocal stadium supporter among the current council members.


"It contributes significantly to our local economy. It's a quality of life issue. It's a wonderful, affordable family recreation, people can go out to and have a good evening or a good day. And it gives us another feather in our cap when we're attempting to attract new business or industry," Boyer said.

Richard G. Everhart: Would not support city funding for a new stadium, but said he "would go along with putting some money into (Municipal) Stadium."

Everhart said he's against building a new stadium, and "I do not support putting $15 million into this stadium down here."

Carol N. Moller: Would support city funding for a new stadium at a new site.

"I don't want to see the money spent to buy the land around the one there now," she said.

"I'd like to see baseball stay here. It shouldn't be a city decision alone. It should be a city-county decision. It's a very big expenditure. The city can't do it alone," Moller said.

Michael E. Nehring: Would support city funding for a new stadium.

"Hagerstown's got its own flavor and one of the things that gives us that flavor is the Suns," he said. "Come summer time that's one of the things that gives Hagerstown its sense of pride. It's a thing to do with the family and it gives the kids role models. ... The city does need to step up to the plate on this."

Paul H. Toothman: Would support city funding for a new stadium.

"I'm not going to take back what the previous council has done," Toothman said. "The city (council has said) they would put in $3 million ... I don't see where a future council should go back and try to take that away."

Toothman said he would prefer that a new stadium be built on a new site. The most recent stadium plan, which was dropped last year due to cost concerns, was to demolish most of the existing Municipal Stadium and build a new stadium on that property.

"The present site is not a good location to invest that kind of money in," he said.

Steve Zaks: Would support city funding for a new stadium, provided the facility could be used for other events.

He said the stadium should have a large screen Jumbotron so that concerts could be shown there.

"Then we'll have a natural gathering place for all kinds of functions. I can't see calling it just a baseball stadium. ... Just baseball is not going to get support of the community as a whole. But I certainly support a gathering place where baseball would be included," he said.

Democratic council candidates

Kristin B. Aleshire: Would not support city funding for a new stadium, but would support some renovations to Municipal Stadium.

"I don't want to see the team leave but I don't want to see that level of burden on the community. It does not seem to have as much public support as other projects do," Aleshire said.

"I'm definitely not against improvements to that site. I'm against an entirely new stadium at a new site," he said.

John A. Budesky: Would support city funding for a new stadium.

"At this point I'm not sure what a reasonable sum (is). The city alone should not bear the burden, it should be a public-private partnership. ... I don't know about $3 million. That may be appropriate and may have been researched. But I do support it," Budesky said.

"Keeping the team in this community is important. A minor league team brings some notice to the City of Hagerstown. It provides a family opportunity and brings in visitors to this community."

N. Linn Hendershot: Would support city funding for a new stadium.

"I support a subsidy, but not baseball at any cost. We need to go to our corporate family here and see what they can bring to the party," he said.

Hendershot said minor league baseball is important to the city because it makes Hagerstown more attractive to companies looking to relocate.

Ira P. Kauffman: Would oppose city funding for a new stadium, but said he favors city spending to renovate Municipal Stadium.

"I do not think the stadium is that important to the people of Hagerstown," Kauffman said.

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